I like food that comes with a good story. Food with a story has been passed down through generations and is pretty much guaranteed to be good. Pasta a la Puttanesca is one of those foods. As the story goes, it was invented by prostitutes in Naples (“puttanas”). Whatever you think of the profession, you will probably agree that the sauce is pretty darn good.
It is also very easy to put together. The ingredients are sauteed together quickly and then tossed with pasta. I decided to mix things up a but by using the sauce with quinoa. It made an excellent side dish; I served it with some baked talapia and a salad for a tasty, healthy meal. I also had some leftover for lunch with some goat cheese.
Most puttanesca sauce recipes contain garlic, anchovies, peppers, olives and capers. If you like all those ingredients, use them. If not, leave something out or replace it with something you do enjoy. Having a story doesn’t make a recipe un-alterable.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- chili flakes to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup olives, diced
- parley, chopped
- Cook the quinoa as per package instructions.
- As the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Sautee the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and anchovy paste, sautee until you can smell the garlic.Add the spices.
- Add the red pepper and olives, stir until the red peppers are slightly cooked. Stir in the parley.
- Mix the sauce with the cooked quinoa.
Note: I didn’t add any salt to this recipe because the anchovies and olives add quite a bit. If you are omitting either, taste the sauce to see if it needs any salt.